Thursday, February 23, 2012

Parenting a Strong-Willed Child

I saw this article today and it got me thinking about my strong-willed child.
Something a LOT of us face. Strong-willed children.
I consider it a priveledge. I mean, when I am 30 minutes into an "I can button my pajamas by myself" episode, ( an episode in which not one single button has been buttoned yet) it does NOT feel like a priveledge, it feels like a pain in my rear.....


When I stop to think about the kind of person that I want my boy to grow up to be; self sufficient, strong, confident...I realize that I need to NURTURE this charateristic.
I think strong will is just what a person needs to support all of those traits.

But sometimes, I feel weak. I doubt my beliefs. You know, those moments when you are in the middle of the mall and he has a mega melt down and pratically abuses you in public?  I start to wonder if I should just crack down, lower the iron fist and break his will. Teach him to do as I say. Every answer would be yes ma'am or no ma'am. He would be a perfectly obedient child who was seen and not heard.

Then, my heart wins out.
The heart that my mom gave me.
The one that clings to the belief that actions speak louder than words.

You know that old saying, "do as I say, not as I do"?
I hate that old saying.
It is for people who don't or won't show the type of respect to their children that they expect in return.
If you want your child to learn respect, show him respect.

I was raised to follow my heart and do unto others as I would have them do unto me.
Not because I was ever TOLD that.
I learned that because that is the way that my momma LIVED.
I love the words of this poem...not sure if my mom ever knew it, but she LIVED this for us kids.

If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear,
he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with pity,
he learns to feel sorry for himself.
If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with jealousy,
he learns what envy is.
If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with praise,
he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance,
he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with recognition,
he learns that it is good to have a goal.
If a child lives with sharing,
he learns about generosity.
If a child lives with honesty and fairness,
he learns what truth and justice are.
If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him.
If a child lives with friendliness,
he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.
If you live with serenity,
your child will live with peace of mind.

~Dorothy Law Nolte~

Somehow, her heart knew to show us all of the goodness that brought out our good characteristics.
She knew to shield us fromt he types of behaviors that would teach us bad traits.
From what I hear of my toddler years, it was NO easy task, but I know she did it. I KNOW that is how I learned to be strong willed "me".
I am pretty sure is smiling down from heaven and even giggling as she sees me get my payback with this boy Blu who tests me daily!

I strive every day to be the kind of mother that she was to us kids.
I hope I make her proud!


Kim said...

Great post! It has inspired me. :)

rayna said...

You make her proud, every minute of every day.